National Weather Service Blacksburg Says Goodbye to Two Employees


Brian Sutherland, Hydrometeorological Technician at Blacksburg, Virginia (RNK) retired on September 30, 2010 with a total of 43 years of government service, including 21 years with the National Weather Service.

Brian began his career with the United States Air Force in 1967 and plotted weather maps for several years at European Weather Central in High Wycombe, England. In 1971, he was deployed for two years as a Weather Observer at McCoy Air Force Base in Orlando, Florida, and during the next couple of years served as a Weather Observer at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York, and at Sparrevohn Air Force Station in Alaska. In 1974, Brian was assigned to the USAREUR Tactical Forecast Unit in Heidelberg, Germany, where he continued to serve as a Weather Observer. In 1978, he relocated to K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base in Gwinn, Michigan and served for the next three years as a Weather Forecaster. From 1981 through 1984, he served as a MAC Technical Advisor for the 201st Weather Flight Air National Guard Unit at Suffolk County Air Force Base in New York; and served from 1984 through 1988 as a Weather Forecaster for the Alaska Forecast Unit stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. From 1988 into 1989, Brian attended Flight Service School at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Brian began his career with the NWS in 1989, when he was selected as a Meteorological Technician at Saint Paul Island, Alaska. In 1991, he relocated to Volens, Virginia, where he served as a Meteorological Technician and WSR-74S radar operator. In 1992, he headed back to Anchorage, Alaska, as a Meteorological Technician. A couple of years later, he was hired to serve as a Meteorological Technician at the Weather Service Office in Lynchburg, Virginia; and in 1995, reported for duty as a Hydrometeorological Technician at the spin-up WFO in Blacksburg, Virginia. He dutifully served at the Blacksburg WFO until his retirement in late September, 2010.

He has plans to continue with his hobbies of photography, cars, and cool-season meteorology. We wish Brian all the best in his upcoming retirement. He will be greatly missed - both personally and professionally.


Robyn Brown, General Forecaster at Blacksburg, Virginia (RNK) left the National Weather Service (NWS) on September 26, 2010 after providing over six years of full-time government service. Robyn began her service with the NWS by serving as a student volunteer from 2002 through 2003. In 2004, she was hired as a part-time employee under the competitive Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), which requires the student to satisfy at least 640 hours of service prior to college graduation. Mrs. Brown received her B.S. degree in Atmospheric Science from UNC-Asheville in May 2005, and was subsequently hired as a Meteorologist Intern at the NWS office in Charleston, South Carolina in June, 2005. In September, 2009, Robyn was promoted to a General Forecaster position at the NWS office in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she has dutifully served since that time. We wish Robyn all the best in whatever the future may hold for her. She has been a tremendous asset to the office, and she will be greatly missed - both personally and professionally.